Hardcover: 32 pages
Author: Mahlon F. Craft
Illustrator: Kinuko Y. Craft
Publisher: SeaStar Books
So perfect are the Pre-Raphaelite details and gestures that it's easy to imagine Kinuko Craft's (Adventures of Tom Thumb) paintings hanging in a gallery. Her husband Mahlon Craft's enhanced version of Sleeping Beauty affords wide scope for the artist's romanticism. In a new episode at the outset, for example, the queen meets a frog that predicts the birth of her daughter; in the facing art, the queen, dressed in a diaphanous white gown, languidly loosens her hair ribbon, while the frog, brought forward by cunning attention to light and detail, waits to speak to her. The backdrop is a dark forest, and the effect is properly otherworldly. Farther on, when the king and queen discover the evil fairy's handiwork, the good fairy comes to ease their grief; Craft portrays the fairy descending from gilded clouds, driving a chariot drawn by dragons. The fairies are transparent, like spirits; the evil fairy is a gothic horror in black draperies. Aurora is ethereally lovely, the landscapes magnificent and the palace splendid. Families aiming to assemble a library of classic fairy tales may well settle on this as the definitive Sleeping Beauty. Ages 5-8.
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